John Dayal is a human rights and political activist. He is a member of the National Integration Council of India, Secretary-General of the All India Christian Council and a past president of the All India Catholic Union. He has been outspoken in defense of church property and in support of churches. During more than forty years he has investigated a great many cases of human rights abuse aimed at minority group of Christians.
As part of “All India People’s Forum”, John Dayal and his ‘fact-finding team’, visited Kasganj, Uttar Pradesh, yesterday, 05 Feb. afternoon. After finishing their work, in an attempt to discover the truth behind the “Kasganj violence”, John Dayal and his team visited the jail to interview if possible, those that were arrested. Most of the persons in prison alleged that those that had perpetrated the crime were on the loose while the innocent had been booked.
To recap, communal clashes broke out in Kasganj on 26th January, Republic Day. A group of Muslims were celebrating Republic Day and had hosted the National Flag. Religious fundamentalists in motor bikes insisted that they also raise the saffron flag which the Muslims declined. This resulted in a skirmish in which 2 persons were killed and in the aftermath, miscreants torched many properties forcing the district administration to impose prohibitory orders in the district.
Apparently, more than 150 people – 100 Muslims and 50 Hindus have been arrested under various sections of the Indian Penal Code for their alleged role in the violence and property vandalized and gutted.
While the interview was in progress, the Police objected to the interview and took them to Mahila Thana Kasganj where the District Collector made several allegations and Police booked John Dayal and his team under Section 144 – stating that they were inciting communal disharmony. After detaining them for a short while, John Dayal and his team were escorted out of Kasganj District and left at the borders of Aligarh District.
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